Science Fiction Starships

On this page we list the starship concepts from the world of science fiction, both credible and speculative. Starships are only included where the theoretical propulsion drive has been identified and where humans are on board adequate attempts were made to create a credible protective vessel.

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Solar & Laser Sail Drives                                                

Crazy Eddit Probe, Laser & Solar Light sail Propulsion, featured in ‘The Mote in God’s Eye’. Set around the year 3017. Travaels from New Caledonia system 35 light years away. Travels at a cruise speed of 0.07c. 450,000 tons vehicle. Sail size around 1,000 km.

Lebedev, Solar Sail Propulsion, featured in ‘The Wind from the Sun’ by A.C.Clarke, Boy’s Life, 1963.

Prometheus, Laser Sail Propulsion, featured in ‘Rocheworld’ by R.Forward, 1982. Later published in novel ‘The Flight of the Dragonfly’, 1984.

Sunjammer, Solar Sail Propulsion, featured in ‘The Wind from the Sun’ by A.C.Clarke, Boy’s Life, 1963.

Electric, Nuclear Electric & Plasma Drives              

Discovery I,  Plasma Rocket Propulsion, featured in ’2001: A Space Odyssey’, A.C.Clarke, 1968. Atomic gas core fission reactor powered vehicle, 140 m in length and 17 m in width.

Fusion & Nuclear Pulse Drives                                    


Interstellar Ramjet Drives                                            

Leonora Christine, Bussard Interstellar Ramjet Propulsion, featured in ‘Tau Zero’ by P.Anderson, doubleday, 1970. Set around the year 2500, travels to Beta Vir system 32 light years away. Travels at a cruise speed of close to light. Also has a form of ion drive on board.

Message Bearer, Ram-Augmented Interstellar Ramjet Propulsion, featured in ‘Footfall’, by L.Niven & J.Pournell, Del Rey, 1985.

Antimatter Drives                                                              

AXIS Probe, Antimatter Propulsion, featured in ‘Queen of Angels’ by G.Bear, Warner Books, 1990.

Venture Star, LightSail & Antimatter Drive Propulsion, featured in the movie ‘Avatar’, Directored by J.Cameron, 2009.

Space Drives                                                                         

Magellan, Quantum Ramjet Propulsion, featured in ‘The Songs of Distant Earth’, A.C.Clarke, Del Rey, 1986. Set aroun the year 3800. Heads to a fictional planet ‘Sagan 2′ 100 light years away. Travels at a cruise speed of 0.2c. Vehicle is 4 km in length. Carries 1 million sleeping crew. Vehicle contains 100,000 tons of water ice.

Wahkopem Zomos, Quantum Vacuum Casimir Effect Propulsion, featured in ‘Encounter with Tiber’, B.Aldrin, Warner, 1996.

Warp Drives                                                                         

Ark, Warp Drive Propulsion, featured in ‘Ark’, S.Baxter, Gollancz, 2009.

Prometheus, Hyperdrive (warp) Propulsion, featured in Star Gate TV series, 1997. And spin-off ships such as the Daedalus.

USS Enterprise, Warp Drive Propulsion, featured in ‘Star Trek’ TV series, 1966 and associated spin-offs and multiple versions.


to be added:

Ship,…featured in ‘Hull Zero Three’ by G.Bear, Orbit, 2010.



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